Work could start early in 2018 on Hackney's second rooftop solar farm if a joint bid to the Mayor of London's Community Energy Fund gets the go-ahead.
Dalston-based Wilton Estate Tenants and Residents Association (WETRA), supported by volunteers from Hackney Energy, wants to install 50 kilowatts of solar panels and a set of batteries to store energy for nighttime lighting for communal spaces, stairwells and the community centre.
WETRA chair Debbie Mitchener said:
‘The Wilton Estate has been looking at possible solar power solutions for the residents since 2013, but always came up against hurdles to progressing it further than an idea on paper. However, when one of our younger residents with a passion for greener solutions went to a meeting of the Hackney Energy group the light finally went on. Installing solar panels on three out of the six flat roofs of the estate will hopefully allow for a reduction in some estate lighting charges for all residents. At a time when household budgets are being squeezed this would be very welcome.
An overall reduction of our carbon footprint is another consideration. As an Estate, we have lights on throughout the night as we are acutely aware of the impact this has on the environment whilst being unable to alter it. This will give us a solution.
There is also hope that a part of the feasibility study will focus on upskilling younger residents, and there’s the possibility of a management role for a local resident. It seems amazing that after all the years of being told it would not happen we are finally being told yes!’
WETRA also hopes it can install two electric car charging bays, and overall produce enough green energy to save 23 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Photography by Nic Lee
Our photo shows the Hackney Energy team delivering the bid to City Hall.
Speaking for Hackney Energy's team, James Robb said it would be great to see many more projects like the prototype on Banister House in Homerton. 'We know of a number of other estates who will be encouraged by this bid if it gets the go-ahead early next year. We're hoping it gets full backing from Hackney councillors, who are making all the right noises about backing community energy.’
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